par Astrid Fiano
, DOTmed News Writer | September 22, 2010
The Iowa Department of Public Health said it's teaming up with the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative to establish partnerships with acute care hospitals in the state, in order to study and prevent two types of health care-associated infections over the next year.
The HAIs in the prevention effort include catheter-associated urinary tract infections (with a targeted 25 percent reduction) and Clostridium difficile infections (with a targeted 30 percent reduction). Both infections are primarily associated with hospital and health care settings. According to the Health Department, the two infections collectively cause 22,000 deaths annually, and also significantly increase cost of treatment and length of a hospital stay.
The department has asked the hospitals to report the infections to the National Healthcare Safety Network so that infections can be identified and measured. The IHC and Iowa's Health Department are also planning education and strategies for Iowa hospitals on the detection and prevention of HAIs.
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"In patient care, the first rule is to do no harm," said Health Department Director Tom Newton in a press release. "I believe a huge component of that concept is the role of Public Health working collaboratively with Iowa's acute care hospitals to ensure that every patient in every part of Iowa is getting the best care by the best teams. Part of that role is to work towards eliminating preventable health care-associated infections."
The IHC is a provider-led, patient-focused nonprofit organization created through the Iowa Hospital Association and the Iowa Medical Society that involves consumers, industry stakeholders and providers to promote best practices for improvement of health care.